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Universal Studios Hollywood Tips to Maximize Your Time

by Leap on March 30, 2021 512 Los Angeles

Universal Studios Hollywood Tips to Maximize Your Time - PinterestDo you love movies? If so, Universal Studios Hollywood is for you! The magic of movie-making comes to life at the park, which combines the quintessential Hollywood movie experience with frogtastic theme park attractions and shows. Universal Studios Hollywood is one of our Frog Family favorites! Especially Tad's. The Studio Tour includes the most recent, exciting finale of  Fast and Furious: Supercharged. Other exciting attractions include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, DreamWorks Theatre Featuring Kung Fu Panda and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem. Now there's a new ride to add to your must-do list — The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! Maximize your time and get the most of your visit with our Universal Studios tips!

Things are running a little differently in 2021, as Universal Studios reopens after a year of being closed due to COVID-19. Some of the changes are mandated by the government, but all are designed with your health and safety in mind. Hop over to our Universal Studios reopening post to get up to speed on what you need to know about visiting in terms of new health and safety procedures. For instance, only California residents may purchase tickets and visit during the initial reopening period due to state guidelines for theme parks. Our post on what to expect when the California theme parks reopen is full of hopful information for all of the theme parks and reopening guidelines.

That in mind, we are offering our very top tips for normal operations, with some notes on how to modify your visit during this reopening period. Keep hopping back during this changing situation to discover new Universal Studios Hollywood tips to navigate this new world as it evolves.

Keep in mind that these photos were taken before the closure, so you may not see reflections of current operating procedures in these photos. However, face coverings are mandatory this year though for all visitors ages 2 and up. Here are our hopful tips for wearing masks in theme parks. Ready for action? Let's hop to it!

21 Universal Studios Tips to Maximize Your Time

1. Buy your tickets in advance.

You'll always save time and money when you buy your Universal Studios Hollywood tickets in advance. If you want to skip the lines and get priority seating for shows, consider purchasing a Universal Express ticket, which includes admission as well as one-time express access to each ride, show and attraction.

During the Universal Studios reopening period, the ticket booths are not selling tickets. The park must limit capacity with advance purchase tickets or reservations for previously purchased tickets. Date-based tickets are back on sale as of April 8, 2021. If you have tickets purchased before April 8, 2021, you'll need to make a reservation before visiting.

2. Pick the best times to visit. 

Maximize Your Time at Universal Studios Hollywood - Family in Front of Globe

While any day you can head to Universal Studios Hollywood is a great day, some days are better than others! You'll find the waits are lowest in the fall, winter and spring. Avoid the days around the holidays and times when children are out of school. Weekdays are often less crowded than weekends. Be sure to hop over to our Los Angeles Crowd Calendar to check out crowd predictions and hop over to our guide to the best times to visit Universal Studios Hollywood. Another thing to consider is park hours. Check the park hours before your visit. When park hours are short (say, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), you'll especially want to arrive early to fit everything in before the park closes.

Of course, in 2021, capacity is limited to allow for plenty of physical distancing space in the park. The Studio Tour and ride capacity will be limited, as well. You'll want to plan ahead when purchasing tickets no matter when you visit to make sure the date you want has availability.

3. Consider the Universal Express Pass during the busiest times.

If you are planning to visit around the holidays, spring break or summer, consider purchasing Universal Express passes. With it, you will get one-time priority access to every ride, show and attraction! Now that's the way to maximize your time at Universal Studios Hollywood! And with the Universal Express Pass, you should have no problem seeing most attractions, even on the super busy days. The park limits the number of Universal Express passes it sells, and the price can fluctuate at the park depending on the season and demand. Buying Universal Studios Hollywood Universal Express passes in advance are a must if you cannot arrive in the morning to purchase them at the gate.

With the box offices closed, you can still upgrade in the park. Or, you may want to plan ahead by purchasing Universal Express in advance. If one-time priority access is not enough, you may be able to upgrade in-park to Unlimited Universal Express. Yes, it’s more expensive, but it could come in handy if you are visiting on a busy day and you want to ride again, and again, and again.

Even with reduced capacity in the park, you will run into lines. If the rides have empty rows to space out parties, it will reduce the number of people who can ride, leading to lines. Universal Express is one toadally awesome way to skip the lines, during the reopening period.

4. Arrive ahead of park opening.

Universal Studios Tips to Maximize Your Time - Universal Studios Hollywood Entrance

We frogs have a saying ... the early frog gets the flies! When you arrive ahead of park opening, you will be one of the very first people inside the park and will have the opportunity to experience the rides with the very lowest waits of the entire day. This is one of our top Universal Studios tips!

If you are at the park entrance 30 minutes early, you just might get in early (depending on the season). Not all attractions may be open, but it gives you a great head start to your day. If the Lower Lot is open, head there first and knock out those rides early in the day as they generally forma the longest lines later.

During some peak seasons, Universal may offer early entry (which can be purchased directly through Universal). This is no longer offered daily or even for some holidays. But if early entry is happening, the park may open the gates to all guests after they let in any guests with early entry tickets. That means you may score early access to the Wizarding World before the park officially opens! This may vary based on the time of year and size of the crowd. But it's todally cool when it happens.

5. Allow at least 30 minutes for parking and security.

Give yourself enough time to park, walk to security and get through the metal detectors. Most general parking is sent to the farthest parking structures. Those lots will have you walking through Universal CityWalk (about 10 to 15 minutes) to get to the security screening area. You can upgrade to Preferred parking to park at Frankenstein (and sometimes even closer to the front gate). The Frankenstein structure is very close to the park exit for that quick getaway at the end of the night. You can further upgrade to Front Gate parking, which puts you right next to security. That saves time, but costs more money. If you plan to shop and eat in CityWalk anyway, then regular parking makes the most sense.

6. Eat breakfast before you arrive.

Universal Studios Tips to Maximize Your Time - Hilton Breakfast

So that you maximize your time experiencing the rides, shows and entertainment, we suggest you eat breakfast before you head to the park! We give two thumbs up to the buffet at Universal Hilton (as low as $201 a night), which includes a variety of cheeses, cold cuts, fresh fruit, muffins, a doughnut bar, dim sum, pork dumplings, eggs, bacon and even Nutella! Wandering through Universal CityWalk, your breakfast options include Starbucks, Johnny Rockets, Subway, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Voodoo Doughnut. If you've skipped breakfast, The Three Broomsticks serves an English breakfast in the Wizarding World.

7. Bring your own water. 

While Universal Studios Hollywood isn't as lenient as the Disneyland Resort about bringing in outside food, you can bring water bottles (maximum 2 liters), baby food, small snacks, fruits and vegetables into the park. You can bring items required for medical purposes and special dietary needs. Small, soft-sided, insulated bags are okay, but you will need to leave coolers and food purchased from outside locations (minus the above exceptions) at home. Note that Universal Studios Hollywood does not even allow water or any food brought in for Halloween Horror Nights.

If you are concerned about meeting your dietary needs in the park, you can consult the Dietary Food Guide for hints on how to find gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and peanut-free foods in the park.

8. Check the park website if you want to spot some celebs. 

A couple of weeks before your park visit, check the official website to find out which celebs will be filming. Sometimes "Access Hollywood" films just inside security in front of the Globe during the morning hours. "The Voice" is filmed at Universal Studios Hollywood. If you want to attend a taping, you can find tickets here. But it is best to attend on a day you are not visiting the theme park because tapings and their check-ins are time-consuming and have dress codes.

9. Schedule your day according to the shows. 

Universal Studios Tips to Maximize Your Time - Waterworld

Not all shows will reopen right away. The Animal Actors Stage reopened first. Shows will have to limit capacity to space out the audience. That means the stadiums may fill up sooner than they would in a normal year, so the bottom line is to arrive early if you want to see a show.

In a normal year, we schedule our day around the shows we want to see. Since the rides run continuously, but the shows do not, it's best to schedule your day around the show schedule. Universal Studios Hollywood publishes a show schedule on its website and in its official app. There are also show and wait time boards located around the park. Shows normally begin in the late morning, so if you arrive at or before park opening, this gives you plenty of time to experience The Wizarding World and Lower Lot attractions (which have much shorter wait times early in the day) before the shows start. The shows offer a rest for your tired flippers in the afternoon.

10. Plan your visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

We do give you permission to grab a Butterbeer in the morning after you experience the rides. Because, you know, it's Butterbeer.

One of our top Universal Studios tips is to break up your visits to The Wizarding World, which is centrally located in the Upper Lot. You can ride the Wizarding World rides — Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff — first thing in the morning. Then, tear yourself away to other rides with short wait times (such as those in the Lower Lot). Circle back to Hogsmeade later in the day for lunch or dinner and shopping when the wait times in the park peak. Both of the rides in the Wizarding World accept Universal Express passes, but Ollivanders Wand pairing demonstration does not (note that Ollivanders is temporarily closed for Universal's reopening). The line for Ollivanders is longest in the morning after opening. The line drops off significantly in the late afternoon and evening, so it is better to wait.

During the reopening period, we have found that the Wizarding World has the shortest waits in the later afternoon and early evening, so save your visit for these rides at the end of your day.

11. Hit the Lower Lot in the morning.

Universal Studios Tips to Maximize Your Time - Transformers

If you arrive at opening, you also should have no problem hitting the Lower Lot with very few people and minimum waits. We have put together a Universal Studios Hollywood Park Plan so that you can prioritize the rides, shows and attractions. Be sure to ask when the Lower Lot opens. Lately it is when the park opens, but at slower times it could be an hour later. Hit the Lower Lot ASAP for the shortest wait times of the day.

Universal Studios Hollywood Tips to Maximize Your Time - Indominus rex emerges on Jurassic World

There's now a new Indominus rex animatronic as part of Jurassic World — The Ride. That means try to hop on the ride as early as you can to experience this new ending! It's so realistic!

12. Try to reduce time on the StarWay.

The series of elevators that connect the Upper Lot and the Lower Lot are very loooonnnnngggggg and can very well take 10 minutes each way (or more during peak times). Avoid multiple trips at all costs by doing everything in the Lower Lot once! We recommend hitting the Lower Lot first (as soon as it opens in the morning) because the lines are shortest there in the morning. They peak in the afternoon.

13. Use the Single Riders line.

Universal Studios Tips to Maximize Your Time - Single Riders Line

Heads up for 2021 visitors: Single Riders lines are not allowed when any of the California theme parks reopen. Ride attendants will be spacing guests out rather than filling empty seats and putting parties together. But here's a look at how to use Single Rider once it returns. (It's our favorite way to skip the lines for free!)

If you don't mind splitting up your party on a ride, the Single Riders line is the fastest way to get on a ride without having a Universal Express Pass. Plus, it's a free way to skip the line! It's one of our top tips to maximize time at Universal Studios Hollywood. There are minimum Universal Studios height requirements for tadpoles to ride without an adult, so make sure they measure up first.

Attractions with the Single Riders line: 

  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Flight of the Hippogriff
  • Revenge of the Mummy - The Ride
  • Transformers: The Ride 3D
  • Jurassic World - The Ride

14. Head to the Studio Tour in the heat of the day.

Universal Studios Tips to Maximize Your Time - Studio Tour

The Studio Tour is what makes Universal Studios Hollywood, well, Universal Studios Hollywood. You will go down to the Backlot, where you will visit some of the most famous backdrops in movie-making history! The Bates Motel, Wisteria Lane from "Desperate Housewives" and town square from "Back To The Future," just to name a few. You might even see some filming taking place! King Kong 3D and Fast and Furious make the tour an exciting ride, as well. We recommend it in the late morning, afternoon or early evening when waits for other attractions are high, temperatures begin to rise and your legs could use an hour of rest. Also, keep in mind that the Studio Tour closes before Universal Studios Hollywood closes, so check the last tram departure and wait times so you don't miss out.

As you may have guessed, the Studio Tour will be spacing guests out and that means there will be limited capacity and fewer people able to ride in a typical day during Universal's reopening period. Our advice is to arrive at the Studio Tour early rather than waiting until the end of the day so you do not miss out. Expect a physically distant line, as well.

15. Have lunch during off-peak times.

Maximize Time at Universal Studios Hollywood - Dining Area in front of Hogwarts

You'll save the most time at Universal Studios Hollywood if you dine outside of peak meal times. Know that there are no table-service restaurants within the park and you won't be able to make reservations in advance. If you are looking for a sit-down restaurant, there are plenty of options at CityWalk next door. Try the tasty Costa Rican food at Jurassic Cafe in the Lower Lot. If you are a Harry Potter fan (OK, even if you aren't), we find the most relaxing and delicious meal in the park to be at The Three Broomsticks. Grab an early lunch or early dinner and eat like a wizard in a replica of an iconic Harry Potter setting. Wizarding alcoholic beverages are available for purchase in the Hog's Head Pub.

One big change to dining will be where you can eat. You cannot help but notice more tables spread out around the park to offer more distanced and outdoor areas to eat. Enjoy the views. These are the only place to remove your face covering. You will even eat snacks there. Bring credit cards, debit cards and gift cards as preferred forms of payment.

16. Don't want to worry about anything? Purchase the VIP Experience.

Universal Studios Tips to Maximize Your Time - VIP Tour

The VIP experience is more limited in capacity at this time, so you'll get a private theme park tour with a maximum of 10 people per tour and no more than three households.

With the Universal Studios Hollywood VIP Experience ticket, you will enjoy a six- to eight-hour personal, guided tour of the park. This includes valet parking, a light breakfast in the private VIP lounge, exclusive Backlot access, unlimited priority access (think Universal Express) to all of the rides and shows (with a guide to get you the best seats) and a gourmet, all-you-can-eat lunch at the Moulin Rouge dining room. You'll take a trolley down to the Backlot and visit working sound stages, Universal's sound department and prop warehouse and other areas not open to the general public. The order on the itinerary can vary per day, but you will eat about three hours into your tour. There is limited availability, so book in advance. Children must be at least 5 years old.

17. Take advantage of Child Switch.

If any of your children cannot ride, an adult can wait with the child in the attraction’s Child Switch room. When the rest of the party returns, you can switch and take a companion with you. We have more tips for entertaining small children at Universal Studios Hollywood if you are bringing a little tadpole with you.

During Universal's reopening period, Child Switch is offered for Wizarding World rides, but that's about it. For the Wizarding World Child Switch, you'll make the swap outside of the ride rather than the previous rooms. Be sure to ask at each ride as the situation is likely to change over time.

18. Make the best of ride breakdowns.

Sometimes a ride experiences technical difficulties. If you happen to be on the ride when this happens and team members need to have you exit (or delay you on the ride before it starts operating again), they will generally try to keep you hoppy with some consolation prizes. These may include a treat. We have gotten packets of Jelly Belly jellybeans. They may also tell you a secret code to come back and ride again (once the attraction reopens) without having to wait. Remember this word or snap a picture of it, just in case you forget it.

And the best prize of all is a single-use Universal Express Pass (it is good for any ride except Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey). But be smart: They only give one pass per party (each pass admits up to five people). When team members ask how many people are in your party, you might divide into smaller groups — especially if you are planning to split up or head to different rides. So one family of five could technically be five parties of one. You might decide to share rides together after all by jumping in on a family member’s pass or decide to split up because you enjoy different rides. Anyway, if things go wrong, we frogs always try to make the best of it. And the benefits from breaking down can mean less time standing in line.

19. Take a break midday.

In a perfect world, you could arrive before park opening and stay until the very end. That way, you could take advantage of the shortest lines and most comfortable temperatures at the end of the day. But that is easier said than done. All of the walking, heat (especially in summer) and missed nap times take their toll. If your hotel is nearby, consider leaving midday to escape the crowds and heat. Be sure to hold onto your ticket and get a hand stamp when you exit. Relax in a hotel pool or darkened hotel room to recharge for the evening. This is only recommended for days with longer park hours. Otherwise, you might miss out on experiencing everything.

If you don’t want to leave the park, the Special Effects Show and Kung Fu Panda (both temporarily unavailable) are air-conditioned, making them a great choice for cooling off and escaping the sun. The tadpoles will enjoy splashing in the Wet Zone area (also unavailable) at Super Silly Fun Land, which has over 80 water play features. Parents can sit in the shade and cool off in the mist while watching the kids.

During Universal's reopening period, play areas (both wet and dry) are temporarily unavailable. You can sit and take a breather with food while distanced from other parties in the specified dining areas.

Maximize Your Time at Universal Studios Hollywood - CityWalk

Another cool suggestion is heading out to Universal CityWalk. This themed mall offers familiar and unique shopping, dining and entertainment. Tad loves Things From Another World — a crazy comic book and sci-fi shop. Lily is into the whole "crazy socks" thing, so The Los Angeles Sock Market is her haven. For dinner, we're fans of Karl Strauss Brewing and Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. #finstotheleft We usually visit CityWalk after we've left the park for the night because CityWalk is open later than the theme park.

Something to consider during or after your day of movie theme park thrills is catching a movie at the Universal Cinema AMC Theater. A dark, air-conditioned theater can be a welcome oasis for tired bodies and a fun way to close down a day. Bring your Universal Studios Parking ticket to the theater Box Office for a parking rebate.

20. Save your souvenir shopping until the end.

Universal Studios Hollywood Tips to Maximize Your Time - People dress in wizard Robes and Wave Wands in Wizarding WorldMany of the items you can find throughout the park are also available at the gift shops on the way to the park exit (including Wizarding World souvenirs and candies). You can avoid lugging bags with you through the park and shop in a less-crowded store with perhaps shorter lines just before leaving. Plus, your chocolate frogs won’t melt in the sweltering heat if you buy them just before you leave. So unless you are looking for an interactive wand, themed mask or accessory that you can enjoy in the park, save your shopping until just before exit time.

Keep an eye out for lines to get into shops due to reduced indoor capacity. Try to hop in when the line is low.

21. Download the Universal Studios Hollywood app.

The Universal Studios Hollywood app is your best guide in the park for quickly finding upcoming shows, reserving a showtime, checking wait times and locating restaurants or shops. It also guides you through Universal CityWalk. The park offers free Wi-Fi. You can always ask a team member if you can't find a showtime, such as the Wizarding World performances (temporarily unavailable) since not every show is listed.

You may also use the Universal Studios Hollywood app to get a Virtual Line Pass, when offered. Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash offers a Virtual Line. That allows you to enjoy the rest of the park instead of standing in a long line! You have to be physically in the park to get a pass. We recommend joining the virtual line as soon as you enter the park. You can also join the Virtual Line near the ride at kiosks that look like subway ticket machines (toadally awesome feature, BTW). You can join the Virtual Line and from the ticket machine as it is not linked to your park ticket.

Have a Universal Studios Hollywood tip we didn't mention or a question? Share it in comments below! Don't froget, we offer a Universal Studios Hollywood Park Plan to maximize your time! 

Related: Toadally Magical Guide to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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201–238 of 238 comments
Dec 5, 2016 at 4:29 p.m. George K Says...

Hi ! Thank you or the tips! I will go to the park anyday of july 1-24 I hope I get FOL tickets... I want to spend some more time in the Harry Potter world.. What is in your opinion the best thing to do in the Harry potter section?

Reply
Dec 12, 2016 at 11:54 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi George,

We really enjoy a lot about the Wizarding World—our top favorites are walking through the castle, seeing a wand pairing ceremony at Ollivanders, and trying the delicious food and drink at The Three Broomsticks.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 1, 2016 at 9:21 a.m. Beja Says...

Hi,

We are planning to visit Universal Hollywood on thursday 5th of Jan. Would we need FOL?

Thanks in advance!

Reply
Dec 8, 2016 at 3:33 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Beja,

Yes, we would recommend them at this time if you can afford it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 28, 2016 at 6:33 a.m. melissa Says...

Hi there!

Thanks for such an informative post. I'm planning on going to the LA US on Dec 19th, which is a Monday, with my sister and boyfriend. We are all in our 20s so we wouldn't really mind doing the whole single rider thing but my companions are not big on waiting more than 40 min for a ride. Would you recommend getting the FOL? I will be a Monday but it's within the whole holiday season time so I'm a bit unsure of whether we should get the FOLs of not.

Thanks a bunch!

Reply
Dec 12, 2016 at 11:55 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Melissa,

We always enjoy the FOL pass. Many people are on winter break then, so crowd levels may be growing. We recommend FOL, but you can take the chance of getting a regular ticket if you arrive early and then decide in park in the morning if you want to upgrade if the lines are longer than you had hoped. Early morning lines are the shortest.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 25, 2016 at 8:23 p.m. Gabriela Says...

Hello, do you know when will Mummy the ride be open again?

Reply
Nov 28, 2016 at 11:03 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Gabriela,

Unfortunately, we are not sure! The USH site only lists its starting date. Hopefully, we find more details soon!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 23, 2016 at 1:31 a.m. Rama Bapat Says...

Is it an absolute no-no to visit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

Reply
Nov 24, 2016 at 7:44 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rama,

It is not a no-no, but please understand that these are some of the very busiest days of the year. We highly recommend purchasing Front of Line passes, if you can afford them.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 24, 2016 at 9:42 p.m. Sher Says...

What day would be best between dec. 26-dec 30 to go to universal?

Reply
Nov 28, 2016 at 12:51 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sher,

These will all be very crowded dates. I would pick the one that works best with your schedule.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 22, 2016 at 12:26 a.m. PK Says...

We will be there on Nov 23 Wed and Nov 24 Thus 2016. My 14 yrs old is a big fans of Harry Potter and my 10 yrs old want to see other attractions more than Wizarding World. Can we able to complete and enjoy our visit on single day? Mostly likly, we will buy FOL. Please advice. Thank you in advance.

Reply
Nov 22, 2016 at 8:51 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi PK,

I would recommend FOL passes for one of these days so you can see most everything.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 21, 2016 at 7:27 a.m. Ana Says...

Hi,

Great tips. I just booked 2 tickets. We will only be in LA for one day. And plan on going to the studios as earliest. it's for the 27th November Sunday. Looks like I should've gotten the FOL. would it be terrible without it? And how do I upgrade my general admission to FOL in case I change my mind?

Thanks a lot

Reply
Nov 22, 2016 at 8:48 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ana,

Sunday will be busy, but not as busy as the days before it. There are only a limited number of Front of Line passes sold. To have your best chance of getting one, get to the park early on Sunday.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 11, 2016 at 6:44 p.m. Toni Says...

Hello, we will be there Mon. Nov.21- Wed. 23. Which day would be less crowded. My daughter is not in good health but wants to go.

Thank you,

Toni

Reply
Nov 15, 2016 at 3:36 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Toni,

Monday is likely the best day. All of these will be busier dates to attend, but you can still have a great time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 10, 2016 at 6:44 p.m. Jen Says...

Hello! We're planning a trip for the first week of December (5-8). Is that a slow time for the park? How many days should we plan to visit? Thanks!

Reply
Nov 15, 2016 at 3:33 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jen,

That should be a good time to visit, and I think you would just need one day if you visit on a week day.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 6, 2016 at 6:40 p.m. Michael Says...

WE are planning on visiting the park on 11/24. is there a restaurant in the park that might have a holiday dinner available? Can we see most of the park with our 14 year old son in one day?

Reply
Nov 6, 2016 at 4:21 p.m. Rosana Says...

Hi, i'm planning a trip with my family on monday december 26, would you recommend getting the front of the line passes? Thanks!

Reply
Nov 8, 2016 at 1:54 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rosana,

Yes, we would recommend them for this time.

Keep hopping!

Leao

Reply
Nov 2, 2016 at 7:31 p.m. Megan Says...

We are coming on Dec 22 for our daughters 16th birthday from out of state. this will be Christmas and her birthday. It is her dream to go to Harry Potter, she is autistic...is there any tricks and recommendations for her to get picked at Ollivander's for the wand selection?

Reply
Nov 16, 2016 at 11:05 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Megan,

They pick the person at random. Wearing Wizarding-themed clothes and standing front and center with a big eager smile certainly helps. If the crowd forms an L in the room, standing near the bend in the L seems like a great spot. The person who is picked will need to be able to communicate, say his or her name and repeat spells. If you find a short line later in the day, you can go see it more than once—the show is slightly different each time!

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 2, 2016 at 12:21 a.m. KJ Says...

Hi, Thanks for the tips and nice replies here.

We are planning to visit on Nov 25th. Yes, it's Thanksgiving weekends. Would it be much better if it's 24th? If so, we might want to change our schedule.

Would we need FOL no matter what?

Appreciate in advance!

Reply
Nov 8, 2016 at 2:13 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi KJ,

You don't absolutely have to have FOL—there will be thousands of people without them. The Friday after Thanksgiving will likely be busier, but both days will be among the very busiest of the year.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 31, 2016 at 4:12 a.m. jaime Says...

We are planning to do a one day trip on Monday 11/21. Looking at the FOL vs VIP and trying to determine if it's worth it to spend nearly double. My kids are big Harry Potter fans so we will likely spend a lot of time there. Trying to determine the time if we do a VIP passes and what that really gets you?

Reply
Nov 14, 2016 at 9:33 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jaime,

The VIP experience includes food, access to sound stages, prop rooms and behind-the-scenes secrets. Plus you get to walk around the Back Lot as well as have FOL access to rides. But it is definitely more expensive than FOL. Being the week of Thanksgiving, we highly recommend at least the FOL pass. The VIP experience is a once-in-a-lifetime experience if it is within your budget.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 30, 2016 at 5:19 p.m. Kristi Says...

What is the best day to go around a holiday? The weekdays before or the Monday following?

Reply
Nov 3, 2016 at 2:55 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kristi,

It really depends on the holiday and whether the kids are out of school around that time or not.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 30, 2016 at 4:31 a.m. Carmen Says...

I am planning a family trip to California the last week of June 2017. There will be 9 of us. Can we see everything in Universal in 2 days or would you recommend 3?

Reply
Nov 3, 2016 at 2:55 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carmen,

You can definitely see everything in two days.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 29, 2016 at 6:40 p.m. CarolJ Says...

We are planning a trip for Nov 20th/ 21st, which day will be best and should be purchase FOL tickets...... what about VIP pass??

Reply
Nov 3, 2016 at 2:03 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carol,

I would suggest Front of Line passes for both of those days if you can afford it and then pick whichever one is most convenient for you.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 29, 2016 at 2:08 p.m. Mike Says...

Hi.

I'll be travelling through California in the beginning of December. I'm just wondering if it's worth a visit as a lone person in his mid 20s! Whether the park isn't too aimed at a much younger crowd, or it would seem a bit pathetic doing this!

Thanks!

Reply
Nov 3, 2016 at 2:01 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mike,

You can have a great time while traveling alone, and the park is geared toward your age group.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 29, 2016 at 10:35 a.m. Shawna Says...

We r coming on Friday nov 4 to universal studios, we have bought a 2pm afternoon pass which gets us into fright night as well. We have one day, can we see it al or should we buy a earlier pass for the morning?

Reply
Oct 26, 2016 at 8:27 p.m. Joe Says...

Heading in on Sunday November 12th. Do you recommend buying an FOL pass for a weekend in november?

Thanks

Reply
Nov 3, 2016 at 12:53 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

Do you mean the 13th? You should be fine without them on either of those days.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 26, 2016 at 7:51 p.m. Carol Says...

We are going the week of 11/6. Is it better to go to Universal on Monday or Thursday of that week or does it matter? Please reply asap...thank you.

Reply
Nov 3, 2016 at 12:51 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carol,

I think Monday would be better. With Veterans Day that Friday and some kids off, parents might make a long weekend out of it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 26, 2016 at 3:07 p.m. Trish Says...

Planning on 2, possibly 3 day visit Dec 20-23. How busy is Universal right before the holidays?

Reply
Nov 3, 2016 at 12:49 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Trish,

It's going to be busy.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Nov 3, 2016 at 12:49 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Trish,

It's going to be busy.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 25, 2016 at 9:28 p.m. Kristi Says...

Is a Monday following a holiday easier than the few days before the holidays?

Reply
Nov 3, 2016 at 12:41 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kristi,

Generally yes, but it really depends on school schedules.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 24, 2016 at 4:51 a.m. Michael Zylla Says...

We are wanting to go to Universal Hollywood tomorrow (Monday October 24th 2016) should we buy front of the line tickets?

Reply
Oct 25, 2016 at 12:49 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Michael,

Sorry for the delay. What did you end up doing?

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 23, 2016 at 1:34 p.m. Valerie Says...

We are planning on coming Dec 1-5th. Should we get FOL passes? How many days should we set aside to do both parks? Thanks!

Reply
Oct 25, 2016 at 12:52 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Valerie,

While they are always nice to have, I don't think you will need them. If you are talking about Universal Studios in California, there is only one park.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 22, 2016 at 1:04 a.m. MikeR Says...

Is there a way to by preferred parking ahead of time? Should we worry about parking at the park?

Reply
Oct 25, 2016 at 2:29 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mike,

Unfortunately there is no way to pay for parking in advance.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 19, 2016 at 6:01 a.m. Daist Says...

We are planning to come on Sunday, after Thanksgiving (11/27/16). Will it be crowded? Should I purchase FOL?

Reply
Oct 20, 2016 at 9:52 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

Yes, we expect it will be busy, so consider purchasing a Front of the Line pass.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 17, 2016 at 11:16 a.m. Rose Says...

My hubby and I are coming sometime either on Dec 18, 19, or 20... which day would be best for us to come? Should we buy FOL tickets? thanks!!

Reply
Oct 21, 2016 at 10:02 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rose,

I would do that Monday. I don't think you will need the Front of Line ticket, although it is always nice to have.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 12, 2016 at 4:29 p.m. Kymberli Barron Says...

My daughter and I are visiting for 2 days in December. I am going to have my disabled pass. Do you have any pointers for this, as I have 3 plates and 26 screws that keep me in one piece?

Reply
Oct 14, 2016 at 10:50 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kimberli,

Don't be afraid to ask questions and requests! The team members are there to help, so feel free to talk to them and tell them about your situation; they can try to make your day easier and more enjoyable. If you're using a wheelchair/ECV, be sure to find out where to board an attraction. A team member on-site can help. Most of all, take your time and enjoy the park!

Keep hoppin!

Leap

Reply
Oct 10, 2016 at 10:13 a.m. Kiki Says...

Thanks for the tips!! We are coming on a Friday in october. Do you think a front of line pass is worth it especially considering the regular park closes at 6 pm? Thanks so much!!

Reply
Oct 12, 2016 at 10:12 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

If you arrive when the park opens, you should not have any problems with a regular ticket, but if you are arriving after that, we recommended FOL.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 8, 2016 at 9:07 a.m. James Says...

Hi,

I am visiting Universal Studios on a Sunday in October with my wife and two children. We only have one day at the park and so I am considering the FOL pass. However, my kids do not like scary roller coaster rides and water rides with long drops.

With this in mind, do you think it is worth buying a FOL pass?

Thanks.

Reply
Oct 12, 2016 at 10:15 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi James,

Most of the rides are simulator-ish. There are two roller coasters—Flight of the Hippogriff is short and sweet (think beginner coaster) and The Mummy is in the dark and fast but without drops. Jurassic Park is a water ride with a drop. Nothing else has a real drop. If they are not huge ride fans and are more interested in shows, the Studio Tour and Wizarding World experiences, then you do not need the FOL.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 27, 2016 at 7:22 p.m. Dorian sagy Says...

Coming to a once in a life time visit from Israel. Current Schedule is Sunday 14th October . Would it be too much crowded because there is a horror night that evening? (we are supposed to get there about 9 am)

Reply
Oct 12, 2016 at 10:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dorian,

It should be fine in the morning. The real crowds will not come until the party starts.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 26, 2016 at 4:14 a.m. Indra Says...

Thanks so much for the tips! We're going in a month and I'm sure they'll be extremely useful!!!

Reply
Sep 18, 2016 at 8:34 a.m. Kath Says...

Hi Leap! Thank you for the great article. Would you suggest 1 or 2 day pass this October to enjoy universal studios?

Reply
Sep 26, 2016 at 9:38 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kath,

We generally recommend a 1-day pass, especially if you will visit during a weekday or if you purchase FOL. Be sure to check the park hours, because the park closes early many Thursdays through Sundays for Horror Nights, which require a separate ticket. We especially recommend Front of Line passes for Horror Nights. But during the day if you arrive at opening you should be in good shape.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 3, 2017 at 1:03 a.m. Tex Says...

Would you suggest the California neighbor pass if expecting to visit Jan 13 2017 or so?

Reply
Jan 5, 2017 at 3:33 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tex,

We're not familiar with that kind of ticket, but we do have plenty of options on discounted Universal Studios Hollywood tickets!

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 2, 2016 at 2:21 p.m. Gaby Says...

HI, Thank you so much for taking the time to do this, and for all the suggestions. We are planning a visit mid June, after watching the video of the Jurassic ride, I think I may have to explain a little bit what it is about to my 6 yr old, so he is not to scare. Really appreciate your good work. Thank you.

Reply
Dec 25, 2015 at 3:58 p.m. SM Says...

I am planning to go with my family to Universal Hollywood either on 12/25 or 12/26. We are driving from a different city and will not be able to arrive at the gate before 10 AM. Which of these two days do you think will be less crowded ?

Reply
Sep 9, 2015 at 4:44 p.m. Ellen Says...

I wanted to say a big thank you for taking the time to write this page. We followed your tips at Universal Studios yesterday and they were fantastic. Thanks to you we really got the most out of our day there! The only tip I would add is waterproof mascara for the Jurassic Park ride haha.

Reply
Sep 9, 2015 at 2:22 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ellen,

I don't know too much about mascara, but I'm sure Mommy Frog would approve ;) Thank you so much for the big praise! I'm so glad you had a great visit to the park.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 16, 2015 at 9:35 p.m. valarie Says...

thank you so much for your helpful tips...going to use every one of them!

Reply
Dec 4, 2015 at 4:57 p.m. Shelby Says...

Thanks! Going there today armed with your suggestions.

Reply
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